Oil-producing countries and companies have a key role to play in helping to eliminate harmful emissions, but time is running out and not moving fast would have the worst consequences of climate change, according to John Kerry, the United States’ special envoy. United for the climate.
Mr Kerry, a former secretary of state under the Obama administration, dismissed the idea that the oil and gas industry disagrees with supporters of climate change action, saying the lines of communication are still open for these industries, which have been cooperative and joined the growing chorus of economically critical sectors supporting the need to preserve the environment.
“The oil and gas industry has never struggled to be heard. Right now we have a tremendous cooperation with the oil and gas companies, and they know there is a transition, ”he said at the Fourth World Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit in Dubai. Monday.
“The question is: are we going to make a transition fast enough to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis? “
The energy sector is one of the largest sources of methane emissions today, with the International Energy Agency estimating that fossil fuel operations emitted around 120 metric tonnes of methane globally in 2020, which is equivalent to about 3.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Nearly 45% of current methane emissions from oil and gas could be avoided at no net cost if well-known technologies and measures can be deployed, the IEA added. Countries can also implement a set of well-established policy tools so that emissions from operations can be halved in a short period of time, he said.
With increasing pressure to adhere to climate change targets, companies are now forced to state their sustainability plans on their balance sheets, which has only recently been done, Mr Kerry said.
“You see disclosures in financial data starting to happen, companies being held to account for their long term vision for climate impact investments… that will change the allocation of capital,” he said. declared.
Changing the business environment from that would then see the overall market – which Mr. Kerry said is worth trillions – shift to new technologies as companies act to align with those goals, everything trying to seize new business opportunities. .
“People see economic opportunities, and money will always drive out economic opportunities. There are going to be benefits; people are going to make a lot of money by entering this new economy, ”he added.
The transition is already underway and Mr Kerry highlighted the diversity of industries and companies that are committed to meeting climate change targets. He said the airline industry has pledged that 5 percent of the fuel it uses will be 85 percent emission-free.
Maersk, the world’s largest shipping operator, has ordered eight carbon-neutral container ships, while Swedish automaker Volvo has announced an agreement to develop, produce and market the world’s first fossil-free steel vehicles . Holcim, one of the largest manufacturers of building materials, now manufactures green concrete.
“If we reach the target that 109 countries signed up to at Cop26 in Glasgow for methane, we would have the equivalent by 2030 of reducing all cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world to zero here. 2030 – that’s the equivalent of the 30% reduction globally, ”Kerry said.
Mr Kerry spoke with Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, at the recent Cop26 conference in Glasgow. The United Arab Emirates will host Cop28 in 2023.
Updated: November 22, 2021, 3:12 PM